On January 28th, 2016 Mayor Eric Garcetti joined VA Secretary Bob McDonald at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to unveil the draft Master Plan for a welcoming and sustainable community for veterans on campus. The plan includes 1,200 Permanent Supportive Housing Units, 840 supportive housing units, resource centers for veterans and their families, and a proposal for increased transit access. The document, developed through a community-based planning process, is a significant milestone in combating homelessness.
"Veterans fought to secure our American dream. Now it's our turn to fight for them. The VA's Master Plan for our region's largest VA campus, which incorporates more than 1,000 comments from L.A. residents and veterans, is the latest step in our continued efforts to ensure that every veteran gets the housing and supportive services they need for a better life.” -- Mayor Eric Garcetti
The office of Mayor Garcetti helped to ensure that both veteran and community voices were actively involved in the development of the Master Plan. Upon recommendation at a Military Veteran Advisory Council meeting, the Mayor’s Office co-hosted and helped facilitate the South Los Angeles Community Meeting on October 6, 2015. Mayor Garcetti also successfully advocated for the addition of permanent supportive housing on the campus.
“The Plan puts our innovative "Housing First" model into action, and will add 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing that will support chronically homeless veterans—as well as aging, disabled, and female veterans who have survived military sexual trauma.” -- Mayor Eric Garcetti
To ensure community stakeholders were consulted, and to address public concerns about the Master Plan, the VA created an outreach team and organized several forums and community events. A period of public comment was opened from early October-December 5, 2015, so that any interested party could provide written feedback on the Master Plan draft.
The VA held six workshops that allowed community members to discuss and vote on features they believed should be included on the WLA campus. The VA also held weekly design open houses, where the community could visit the Master Plan team on the WLA campus to collaborate and give feedback on the planning process. The Master Plan team presented updates at seven Neighborhood Council meetings. and provided updates to the community through several town hall and community meetings that the VA organized as part of its homeless strategy.
Implementation of the Master Plan